Valle d’Aosta: Italy’s best-kept secret
The Aosta Valley or Valle d’Aosta is the smallest region in Italy, with only 3,262 sq km (1,259 sq miles). There’s only one protected region for quality wine or DOP (DOC) and no DOCGs, the highest tier for fine Italian wine.
Most of the grapes grown in the Aosta Valley are autochthonous. 55% of the vineyards are planted with six varieties: Petit Rouge (20%), Nebbiolo (12%), Pinot Nero (8%), and Fumin (7%) for the reds, and Prié Blanc (8%) for the whites. Although there’s only one AOP in the valley, it’s divided into seven subregions, all specialized in particular grapes and wine styles: Arnad-Montjovet, Chambave, Donnas, Enfer d’Arvier, Morgex et de la Salle, Nus, and Torrette.
For a delectable white of pure white fruit aromas and hints of wildflowers, enjoy a bottle of La Source, Petite Arvine DOC. You also need to try an Alpine rendition of Chardonnay with La Source Chardonnay DOC offering mineral and citrus aromas over an elegant palate.
Red wines are incredibly varied. Try a La Source Torrette Superiore DOC, made with Petit Rouge, for a velvety and complex wine brimming of ripe red fruit or a La Source Cornalin DOCmade from the rare Cornalin grape known for its light and fruit-forward palate reminiscent of wild berries.